For centuries, Candian basements have been described as dark, cold and dreary places. With the housing market exploding and people actively trying to maximize their spaces, basement renovations have been more popular than ever.
Basement redesign usually comes with a lot of fluorescent and recessed lighting, and while that’s a reasonable option for evenings, why settle for unnatural light during the bright and sunny days? The good news is that with modern technology and strategic design, it no longer has to be that way! There is a plethora of options to bring light into your homes with various styles of windows and window installations in Toronto.
We’ve created this step-by-step guide to help brighten and lighten your downstairs.
Identify where you can install a window
Unless you’re building a house from the foundation up (and have the authority to determine window placements), there is most likely a window already installed to code in your basement.
The first step in increasing the amount of light in your home is to see if you can either expand the existing frame, or install a different window style that will maximize natural light.
If you choose to take the route that involves expanding a window’s existing frame, be prepared for the hefty cost that comes with it. You’ll most likely have to cut through the concrete foundation of your home to put in a larger window. The upside to this investment is that you may be able to install a window that meets code to classify basement rooms as additional bedrooms–and that will lead to a fantastic resale value down the road!
If you’re choosing to simply replace your current windows, it’s important to choose a style that can let it as much light and air as possible!
Choose a Light-Maximizing Window Style For Your Basement
There is a common assumption that any style of window fitted to the same parameters will bring in the same amount of light, but that’s not the case at all! Although a wall-to-wall window will obviously bring in more light in than a small square window, the style of your window really can make a huge difference in terms of how much light makes it through the glass.
We’ve identified three styles in particular that will certainly brighten up your basements:
Awning windows are one of the best, if not the best style of window to bring in fresh air.
They swing out from the bottom and can properly ventilate basements–even when it’s raining or snowing (and in Canada, that’s often the case). Awning windows are a common choice for basements as it can be easily installed high on walls, and operated by just turning the crank handle.
Awning windows feature a large glass panel to maximize the amount of light you’re receiving. When shopping around for an awning window, try to source a window with energy advantage hard coat low emissivity glass as it’s best suited to Canadian climates. Why not save on your energy bill while enjoying your bright new basement? The awning window is also a great option to consider if you’re looking to install a window in your basement window.
Ventilate your post-shower steam by swinging open your awning window, and you’ll be good to go! Clera windows are an excellent choice in that if offers a wet glazed window with a co-extruded exterior seal for structural integrity and maximum leak protection. Furthermore, our awning windows have a compression seal that permits the window seal to be airtight, and therefore has minimal heat loss.
Double Lift Out Slider Vinyl Windows
The beauty in double lift out slider vinyl windows is that they have two side-by-side sashes (moveable panels). This is the most common form of window installation in Toronto as it offers a lot of versatility, and a sleek design with clean lines.
In basements, windows are almost always installed high on the wall in basements and there is a high chance that there may be a walkway or shrubbery outside to cover the look of the concrete foundation. Double lift out slide windows are a perfect alternative to out-swinging windows as they won’t obstruct any form of landscaping, decks, or walkways. They’re also an extremely practical choice as you can control the amount of air entering your basement with how much you slide open the window.
At Clera, we’ve added features to our double lift out slider windows that make them a cut above the rest. One feature includes drainage flaps that keep wind and insects out where they belong! Additionally, the drainage flaps open solely in the event that it’s actually required for water to drain–we don’t just punch holes in our flaps like other companies do. Other special features include built in safety latches, built-in accessory grooves, double-walled, full length integrated pull-rails, and recessed finger latches.
We’ve worked hard to make this the most user-friendly, light and air maximizing window possible.
Specialty Shape Windows
If you’re living in a home with a lot of character and history and want to stay true to the time of your home, then designing a specialty shape window is a great way to maintain the heart of your home while maximizing light and saving energy.
Many older homes will feature interesting bar areas or bedroom designs– why not add a window that will compliment them? Depending on the shape of your basement, you could get a window installed to highlight existing lines. Some shapes include a circle top, ellipse, hexagon, octagon, oval, or cathedral. Try to research design styles that will fit the build of your home, and try to create a visual with virtual design programs. At Clera Windows, our aim is to create the best possible fit for your basement window installation in Toronto!
Get The Window(s) Installed!
Once you’ve selected your dream window style, find a reputable company that can help you to install them. Make sure to check the quality of the manufacturing and trust that your windows will be durable and long lasting. Here at Clera Windows, we prioritize creating high quality products to help our customers live beautifully, efficiently, and happily!
If you’re thinking about taking the plunge on a basement renovation, contact Clera today and we’ll help you get started.